49 thoughts on “Nothing like a little lighthearted reading

  1. Meanwhile says:

    “North Korea will join Olympics, military talks planned, another hotline between countries restored” (Korea JoongAng Daily 1/9/18) http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/Article.aspx?aid=3043135 “Seoul and Pyongyang agreed Tuesday night to hold working-level meetings in the near future to discuss North Korea’s participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics next month, boost inter-Korean cooperation in various fields, have military officials meet to diffuse tension on the Korean Peninsula, solve bilateral issues among themselves without relying on outside forces — and continue to hold high-level talks.”

  2. CRM 114 says:

    “Members of President Donald Trump’s cabinet are weighing whether the U.S. should respond to future North Korean missile and nuclear tests with a targeted first strike on one of the regime’s facilities.” (Newsweek Jan 9, 2017) “Inside the White House, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis are advocating a diplomatic solution, but national security adviser H.R. McMaster is pushing for military options that would show the regime the consequences of its actions, according to officials that spoke with The Wall Street Journal on Monday.”
    Meanwhile: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — the federal agency that typically warns you about food poisoning or the flu season — said it will hold a public briefing on Jan. 16 on what to do to survive the blast from a nuclear weapon. “While a nuclear detonation is unlikely, it would have devastating results and there would be limited time to take critical protection steps,” the new CDC statement reads. “Despite the fear surrounding such an event, planning and preparation can lessen deaths and illness.” http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/the-conversation/sd-how-to-survive-a-nuclear-blast-per-cdc-20180105-htmlstory.html

  3. Elmer says:

    North Korea praises ‘Fire and Fury’ book for foretelling ‘Trump’s political demise’ (USA Today Jan 11) https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/01/11/north-korea-praises-fire-and-fury-book-foretelling-trumps-political-demise/1023655001/ North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in a commentary that robust sales for the book reflected “rapidly surging anti-Trump sentiments in the international community.” The paper added that the “anti-Trump book is sweeping all over the world so Trump is being massively humiliated worldwide” and that “voices calling for the impeachment of Trump are on the rise not only in the United States but also abroad.” Since the book was published about a week ago, it added, Fire and Fury “has triggered a debate on whether Trump is qualified to be president, even in Western Europe.”

  4. Laugh Riot says:

    “Some people in Hawaii received a rude awakening Saturday morning. At approximately 8:08 a.m. local time, residents received an alert on their phones about a ballistic missile threat. The alert message urged residents to seek immediate shelter and stated that it was not a drill.” http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/national/missile-threat-alert-hawaii-false-alarm-rattles-nerves/Bh0yGwSrDgrbEfxBdAuISN/
    Civilian Defense instructions http://www.dpvintageposters.com/cgi-local/db_images/posters/cache/2469-image-450-550-fit.jpg?Yhw2e57C

  5. Klaus says:

    Did the U.S. underestimate North Korea’s weapons program? It’s not that simple. Washington Post) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/01/16/did-the-u-s-underestimate-north-koreas-weapons-program-its-not-that-simple/?utm_term=.bc2090062503
    The American scientist who’s seen North Korea’s nuclear secrets (CBS News “60 Minutes”, Jan 14, 2018) https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-american-scientist-whos-seen-north-korea-nuclear-secrets/ “It may mostly be propaganda when North Korea boasts about its nuclear capabilities, but one American says to be careful not to underestimate the country’s power.”

    • Hope says:

      “Former LANL director discusses N. Korea’s nuclear agenda” (Santa Fe New Mexican Jan 27, 2018) http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/former-lanl-director-discusses-n-korea-s-nuclear-agenda/article_dacbec48-a9e3-5c4c-bd36-34829e8a7bf3.html “…Hecker also sees pragmatism in Kim Jong Un, saying, “He’s not only not crazy, he’s not stupid; he’s actually quite smart.”
      While it may take many years and a concerted diplomatic effort to try to walk North Korea back toward nonproliferation, Hecker said, he pointed to Kim’s recent speech unveiling a two-pronged strategy of military and economic buildup, comparing it to China’s liberalization of capital markets that followed that country’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. The same may be true for North Korea, according to Hecker: The country opens up after it it is assured it can protect itself militarily. And, after all, North Korea’s leaders are at some point going to have to solve internal problems such as hunger, lest the North Korean people rise up against the oppressive regime.
      “Kim Jong Un is going to find out at some point you can’t eat nuclear weapons,” Hecker said.

  6. Salonière says:

    “The details of how Michael Wolff penetrated the White House are the most damning of all” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/01/17/the-details-of-michael-wolffs-easy-penetration-of-the-white-house-are-the-most-damning-of-all/?utm_term=.57a6ef93f5df
    “Bloomberg News’s Jennifer Jacobs reports that Wolff worked his way into the White House by pitching the book with a laughably misleading working title — “The Great Transition: The First 100 Days of the Trump Administration” — and basically stayed there because nobody with any authority thought to question his motives or presence. It’s a spectacular comedy of errors by the White House that would be a lot funnier if this weren’t describing the seat of the federal government of the United States.
    …Are there really no safeguards against Trump being seduced by the siren song of flattery?”

  7. CRM 114 says:

    SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea sent a rare announcement addressed to “all Koreans at home and abroad” on Thursday, saying they should make a “breakthrough” for unification without the help of other countries, its state media said. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-southkorea-kcna/north-korea-sends-rare-announcement-to-all-koreans-calls-for-unification-idUSKBN1FD33I
    “US stealth bombers in Guam appear to be readying for a tactical nuclear strike on North Korea” (Business insider) http://www.businessinsider.com/us-stealth-bombers-guam-tactical-nuclear-strike-north-korea-2018-1
    Engineers at the United States’ nuclear weapons lab in Albuquerque, New Mexico, have spent the past few years designing and testing the B61-12, a high-tech addition to our nation’s atomic arsenal. Unlike the free-fall gravity bombs it will replace, the B61-12 is a guided nuclear bomb that has both increased accuracy and earth-penetrating capabilities https://fas.org/blogs/security/2016/01/b61-12_earth-penetration/
    North Korea is in the final stages of preparing for a massive military parade to be held on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the country’s armed forces Feb 8th. The parade is considered particularly important because it will follow a year of historic military developments and comes amid sensitive negotiations with rival South Korea. https://www.38north.org/2018/01/mirim012418/

  8. 한국드라마 says:

    Lessons for today of USS Pueblo’s 1968 capture by North Korea : Political experts say there is much to be learned from the warship crisis 50 years ago that brought the Korean peninsula to the brink of a second war (South China Post 1/25/18) http://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/long-reads/article/2130571/lessons-today-uss-pueblos-1968-capture-north “…There are parallels between the Pueblo incident and the crisis now afflicting Pyongyang-Washington relations and “a small amount of miscommunication or misunderstanding of the current rhetoric can lead to a regional military escalation and conflict. That’s what we learned in 1968,” according to Jean H. Lee, a journalist, expert in North Korean affairs and global fellow with the Woodrow Wilson International Centre, in Washington DC. “And it’s just an absolutely incredible story,” she adds.
    In his book Act of War: “Lyndon Johnson, North Korea, and the Capture of the Spy Ship Pueblo” (2013), author Jack Cheevers describes the affair as “one of the worst intelligence debacles in American history”. His factual account reads like a cold war thriller, as a routine naval surveillance mission in the Sea of Japan rapidly escalates into a diplomatic incident that nearly spills over into war. See http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/article196516519.html

  9. Oscar G. says:

    “The Button: A Nuclear Fable” By Calvin Trillin. (The New Yorker, Jan 29, 2018 issue) https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/01/29/the-button-a-nuclear-fable
    “What A Nuclear Missile Attack On Hawaii Would Look Like” (Defense One 1/19/18) http://www.defenseone.com/threats/2018/01/what-nuclear-missile-attack-hawaii-would-look/145319/ (includes link to Nukemap, an interactive tool from Alex Wellerstein for approximating the devastation of nuclear events)

  10. Update says:

    “Trump advisers clash over ‘bloody nose’ strike on North Korea” (CNN) https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/01/politics/north-korea-trump-bloody-nose-dispute/index.html The nomination of the long-rumored candidate to be US ambassador to South Korea, Victor Cha, was pulled last weekend after he warned the White House that a so-called “bloody nose” strike against Pyongyang would risk pulling the US into a disastrous war that would endanger hundreds of thousands of lives.
    “Unpacking a US Decision to Use Force Against North Korea: Issues, Options, and Consequences (38 North) http://www.38north.org/reports/2018/01/rjervis013118/

  11. We'll see says:

    Ivanka Trump arrives at Olympics. So does a senator warning of ‘biblical’ destruction of North Korea https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ivanka-trump-arrives-olympics-senator-warning-biblical-destruction-north-korea-094724382.html
    Meanwhile “Trump warns of military action with North Korea if sanctions don’t work” (02/23/18 02:48 PM EST) http://thehill.com/policy/defense/375320-trump-warns-of-military-action-with-north-korea-if-sanctions-dont-work “Speaking at a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the White House, Trump said that if the sanctions don’t work “we’ll have to go to phase two,” which he said “may be a very rough thing.”
    “We’ll have to see,” Trump said. “I don’t think I’m going to exactly play that card. But we’ll have to see. If the sanctions don’t work we’ll have to go to phase two. Phase two may be a very rough thing. May be very, very unfortunate for the world.”
    “But hopefully the sanctions will work,” Trump added. “We have tremendous support all around the world for what they’re doing. It really is a rogue nation. If they can make a deal it will be a great thing. If we can’t, something will have to happen. So we’ll see.”

  12. Pinball Wizard says:

    “What ‘DO NOT CONGRATULATE’ says about Trump — and the peril of meeting Kim Jong Un” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/03/21/trump-went-way-off-script-on-his-putin-call-reinforcing-the-peril-of-his-kim-jong-un-meeting/?utm_term=.e50b93b86543 “On issue after issue, whether immigration or guns or that Oval Office meeting with Russian leaders, he has proved he can’t stay on script. In fact, he often doesn’t seem to bother even studying the script. Trump regularly appears unfamiliar with the policies he’s discussing, changes his mind within days or even hours, and makes decisions that haven’t been thoroughly vetted.”

  13. Laugh Riot says:
  14. Stranger than Fiction says:

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un clapped his hands as he, along with his wife and hundreds of other citizens, watched a rare performance Sunday by South Korean pop stars visiting Pyongyang, highlighting the thawing ties between the rivals after years of heightened tensions over the North’s nuclear program.

    • Ruy Lopez says:

      “A top North Korean official has made a rare apology to South Korean reporters for restricting their coverage of a concert by South Korean musicians in Pyongyang, according to a pool report Monday.” http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2018/04/02/0200000000AEN20180402006551315.html “Kim Yong-chol, a top military general, is suspected of masterminding two attacks on South Korea in 2010. He visited the South last month as the chief of the North’s high-level delegation to the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. This rare and quick apology by a top North Korean official appears to reflect the recent rapprochement between the two Koreas created by the North’s participation in the Olympics.”

    • Raengmyŏn says:

      North Korean Moranbong Band: 배우자 – “Let’s study” [click the closed caption button for translation] https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=10&v=ycdDHP7QfWo
      “The Moranbong Band, also known as Moran Hill Orchestra, is an all-female music group in North Korea whose members were selected by the country’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un. Performing interpretive styles of pop, rock, and fusion, they are the first all-female band from the DPRK, and made their world debut on July 6, 2012. Their varied musical style has been described as symphonic because it is “putting together different kinds of sounds, and ending in a harmonious, pleasing result.”

  15. Juche Fruit says:

    The North Korean Parliamentary Session and Budget Report 2018: Cautious Optimism for the Summit Year https://www.38north.org/2018/04/rfrank041918/ [“…the issues discussed at the SPA session provide a superficial but rare glimpse into the inner workings of North Korea’s economy and should therefore not be overlooked.”]
    (BBC) North Korea’s announcement that it is halting nuclear and missile tests has received a broad international welcome.
    Leader Kim Jong-un said further tests were not needed, as the North had demonstrated it had nuclear weapons.
    Donald Trump described the move as “good news” for the world, and South Korea said it was meaningful progress.
    The EU said it was “positive”, but called for complete denuclearisation. North Korea is preparing for historic summits with South Korea and the US.
    Early on Saturday Kim Jong-un said: “From 21 April, North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles.” http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43849516 See also “Why has Kim Jong-un halted North Korean tests now?” http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43847845

  16. Brrrr says:

    “US Deployment of Nuclear Weapons in 1950s South Korea & North Korea’s Nuclear Development: Toward Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” (2009) https://apjjf.org/-Lee-Jae-Bong/3053/article.html
    According to a report of a National Security Council meeting on Dec. 3, 1953: ”The President [Eisenhower] expressed with great emphasis the opinion that if the Chinese Communists attacked us again, we should certainly respond by hitting them hard and wherever it would hurt most, including Peiping itself,” the record of the meeting says, using the former name of Peking.
    “This, said the President, would mean all-out war against Communist China,” the document continues. https://www.nytimes.com/1984/06/08/world/us-papers-tell-of-53-policy-to-use-a-bomb-in-korea.html
    “Timeline of Nuclear Threats on the Korean Peninsula” https://www.veteransforpeace.org/files/2113/3348/4164/korea_timeline.pdf

  17. Sonny Jim says:

    4:35 AM ET, Thu May 24, 2018: Choe Son Hui, a vice-minister in the North Korean Foreign Ministry, said if the US continued on its current path, she would suggest to North Korea’s leadership that they reconsider the planned summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
    “Whether the US will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision and behavior of the United States,” Choe said in comments carried by North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency Thursday.
    Choe was responding to comments by Pence made Monday during a Fox News interview that she deemed “unbridled and impudent.”
    Choe took particular issue with Pence’s remarks about US National Security Adviser John Bolton, who said the US would look to the negotiations with Libya during the early 2000s when dealing with North Korea. “There was some talk about the Libya model,” Pence told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum. “As the President made clear, this will only end like the Libya model ended if Kim Jong Un doesn’t make a deal.” When MacCallum said that some people may have seen Bolton’s comments as a threat, Pence said “I think it’s more of a fact.”
    North Korea has long cited Libya’s case as the reason it needs nuclear weapons. Less than a decade after Moammar Gadhafi agreed to abandon its nuclear aspirations in a deal with the United States, he was ousted from power and killed with the help of NATO-backed forces. https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/23/politics/mike-pence-north-korea-intl/index.html

  18. Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay says:

    U.S. Ambassador to South Korea: Who Is Harry B. Harris Jr.? (6/5/18) http://www.allgov.com/news/top-stories/us-ambassador-to-south-korea-who-is-harry-b-harris-jr-180605?news=860482
    …Harris took over as commander of Joint Task Force Guantánamo in 2016. Under his watch, three prisoners held at the base died while in custody. Harris quickly declared the deaths to be suicides, describing it as “not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.” However, an investigation by Harper’s magazine cast considerable doubt on that verdict, suggesting that the three were killed during a torture/interrogation session held in a secret part of the base.
    Harris shares many of Trump’s hardline views about North Korea. In testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 15, 2018, Harris said: “I believe if we do anything along the kinetic region of the spectrum of conflict, we have to be ready to do the whole thing [meaning full-fledged military assault against North Korea]. And we’re ready to do the whole thing if ordered by the president.”
    Two days later, Harris said in a speech: “The dangerous behavior by North Korea is not just a threat to the Korean Peninsula, it’s a threat to Japan, it’s a threat to China, it’s a threat to Russia—let me say that again… it’s a threat to Russia—it’s a threat to the United States, it’s a threat to the entire world.” Harris then called for stronger sanctions against North Korea.

  19. One-upmanship says:

    President Donald Trump said Thursday that he doesn’t need to study for his upcoming nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-i-don-t-think-i-have-prepare-very-much-n880981
    Trump is expected to travel to Canada on Friday for a two-day meeting with the Group of Seven industrial nations that is likely to focus heavily on trade issues before heading to Singapore for his historic sit-down with Kim.
    “I think I’m very well prepared. I don’t think I have to prepare very much,” Trump told reporters at the White House Thursday as he posed for photos with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “This isn’t a question of preparation. It’s a question of whether or not people want it to happen, and we’ll know that very quickly.”

  20. Stranger than Fiction says:

    North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat, nor is it the “biggest and most dangerous problem” for the United States, President Donald Trump said on Wednesday on his return from a summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. “Everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office,” Trump said on Twitter. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-usa/north-korea-frames-summit-as-a-win-as-trump-halts-war-games-idUSKBN1J90CA
    The case of the curiously compelling Dennis Rodman interview from the Singapore summit between Trump and Kim. https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/12/politics/dennis-rodman-north-korea-chris-cuomo-cnntv/index.html …during which former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said this about Rodman: “He is a unique person since he has a relationship with both Kim Jong Un and with Donald Trump and obviously has great rapport with Kim Jong Un, who is a basketball fanatic himself. So I think that there is potential here to engage Dennis Rodman in a serious way in promoting this relationship.”
    “I saw a Dennis Rodman that I have never seen before on the course of that interview, and you drew that out of him,” Clapper told Cuomo after the Rodman interview. “A lot more depth there than I think meets the eye and he does understand Kim Jong Un, and all the rest of us, pundits, were kind of amateurs and haven’t had that direct contact like he has.”
    Transcript of CNN coverage of the Trump-Kim Summit. Aired June 11, 2018, 9-10p ET http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1806/11/CPT.01.html

  21. 솔까말 says:

    An official statement from Donald J. Trump, President of the United States of America @ 4:16 AM on July 3, 2018) “Many good conversations with North Korea-it is going well! In the meantime, no Rocket Launches or Nuclear Testing in 8 months. All of Asia is thrilled. Only the Opposition Party, which includes the Fake News, is complaining. If not for me, we would now be at War with North Korea!” https://media.townhall.com/Townhall/Car/b/mrz030918dAPR20180309074521.jpg

  22. 38North says:

    “Prior to the Singapore Summit, the biggest news about the DPRK concerned a personnel shuffle of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) High Command. Some of the coverage of these changes, obviously targeted on a general audience, was misleading. According to recent commentary, Kim Jong Un, the “brutal dictator,” had once again embarked on a bloody purge of senior officials.
    A more coherent and accurate interpretation of Kim Jong Un’s rationale was that he switched his top military leaders as part of the preliminary phase of mothballing the DPRK’s WMD program; there is a certain logic to moving malcontents to other positions, lest they resist Kim’s moves on denuclearization. However, this was only a minor factor in Kim Jong Un’s calculations.
    A better explanation of the recent adjustments in the KPA high command lies in understanding how senior personnel appointments are orchestrated and implemented in the party, army and state; looking at personnel appointments in relation to the institutions and personalities involved on a case-by-case basis; and recognizing the continuation of Kim Jong Un’s efforts to strengthen party and civilian control over North Korea’s armed forces.” https://www.38north.org/2018/07/mmadden070318/

  23. 솔까말 says:

    The two Koreas agreed to halt military drills, set up a no-fly zone near the border and gradually remove landmines and guard posts within the Demilitarised Zone, among other steps.
    The deal was sealed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their third summit in Pyongyang on Sept. 18-20.
    During an annual parliamentary audit on Wednesday, an opposition party lawmaker asked Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha if U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had complained about the agreement during a phone call reported earlier by Japan’s Nikkei newspaper.
    “Yes, that’s correct,” Kang said in response. “I wouldn’t say he made strong expressions. (It was) discontent, about how he was not briefed sufficiently, and he had a lot of questions within my knowledge.” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-usa-southkorea/south-korea-says-pompeo-complained-about-inter-korean-military-pact-idUSKCN1MK21Q
    Meanwhile: “South Korea wants to build a $35 billion high-speed railway to connect North Korea with the world” https://www.businessinsider.com/north-korea-south-korea-plan-railway-peace-declaration-2018-5

  24. Juche fruit says:

    “North and South Korea agreed on Friday to “completely destroy” by next month 22 guard posts near their heavily fortified border, the latest advance in talks in the neighbors’ effort to defuse military tension, Seoul’s defense ministry said. It follows a military pact at a summit last month in the North Korean capital that called for a halt to “all hostile acts,” a no-fly zone near the border and the gradual removal of guard posts, firearms and landmines from the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two. “The measures will be finished through mutual verification in December,” it said in a statement.” (Reuters UK) https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-southkorea/north-and-south-korea-agree-to-scrap-22-guard-posts-at-border-next-month-idUSKCN1N0082

  25. Movin' on up says:

    “North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is planning an unprecedented flurry of summits with world leaders, as he steps up his push to ease sanctions four months after a landmark meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump. Bloomberg.” 10/31/18) https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-01/kim-jong-un-is-getting-ready-to-meet-a-bunch-of-world-leaders
    “South Korean President Moon Jae-in told parliament Thursday that Kim would likely visit Russia and South Korea “soon” while he expected Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit Pyongyang in the near future. Moon, who made the remarks while outlining next year’s budget, said the North Korean leader could also possibly hold a separate meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
    …The agenda shows how the once-reclusive North Korean leader’s diplomatic isolation has fallen away since Trump granted him the first-ever summit between sitting leaders of the two countries in June. Kim has used that legitimacy to lobby for relief from international sanctions, while resisting U.S. calls to give up his nuclear weapons program.”

  26. Chrizzart says:

    “North Korea is getting increasingly angry at the US, as talks are deadlocked and tensions between the two countries are on the rise, a source familiar with the discussions told CNN.
    US and foreign sources close to the talks paint a picture that’s starkly different from the image President Donald Trump sought to convey Wednesday, when he told reporters the administration is “very happy with how it’s going with North Korea. We think it’s going fine.” https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/07/politics/north-korea-trump-pompeo-tensions/index.html

  27. Yes sirree says:

    Stephen King @StephenKing 7:07 PM – 8 Feb 2019: “Unlike Donald Trump, who doesn’t read, Kim Jong-un knows The Art of War, by Sun Tzu: “Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.”

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